Williams is a Democrat while Wolfe is a Republican.
Smith said he was impressed with what Huntington was doing to address its financial problems.
East End council member Robert Sheets said a sales tax was regressive and would hit the poorest city residents hardest.
"I think this tax is very unfair for seniors, those on disability and people making minimum wage," he said.
He also isn't happy with the other leg of Jones' proposal — cutting retail business and occupation taxes from .5 percent to .35 percent. The plan would also eliminate B&O taxes for Charleston manufacturers.
"That's a Republican proposal," he said. "That's cutting the taxes for the wealthy and taxing the poor. I believe we need to work on reducing B&O taxes, but you shouldn't raise the taxes on the poor."
He suggested the city raise its 6 percent hotel/motel tax to pay for Civic Center renovations. He suggested doubling it or at least bringing it to 10 percent.
Jones said this wouldn't work because the state Legislature sets the hotel/motel tax for the state.
Charleston leaders can impose a city sales tax under the Home Rule Pilot Program if the state's Home Rule board approves.
But that program expires June 30, and state leaders have told Jones any extension of the program will include legislation that prohibits cities from imposing new taxes.
Therefore, Charleston must act quickly.
"If we don't do this (city sales tax), there will be no way to fund the renovations," Jones said.
Jones said higher hotel/motel taxes would discourage convention planners and that would defeat the purpose of renovating the Civic Center.
Sheets disagreed. He said lodging taxes in other cities are higher than in Charleston.
However, the 6 percent sales tax is higher or equal to the tax in two other cities that compete with Charleston for convention business, according to Jarrett.
The rate in Asheville, N.C. is 4 percent and in Greensboro, N.C., 6 percent.
But the rate in Jefferson County, Ky., where Louisville is located, is 14.5 percent.
Sheets said Charleston could raise funds by holding bingo games at city community centers. He pointed out that some fire departments in the state raise large amounts of money through bingo and raffle.
"It's a way of raising alternative revenue instead of taxing the citizens of our city," Sheets said.
Councilman Mike Stajduhar, a West Side Republican, said Sheets' lodging tax suggestion was not realistic.
"If you raise the hotel/motel tax rate, it makes Charleston less competitive when we try to grab some of this convention business," Stajduhar said.
He said Jones' proposal is not regressive because it exempts groceries.
"A half cent tax is something that most people won't even notice," he said.